James Madison quarterback Drew Dudzik will have a new tight end this season. But Dudzik says the new one, sophomore Brian Barlow, reminds him of the Dukes' two old ones.
"He's kind of like a mix of Charlie Newman and Mike Caussin," Dudzik says, referring to the two seniors who played tight end for the Dukes last season.
"He's got the blocking and the receiving ability," says Dudzik. "He's been making plays since the spring, and I'm really excited about him."
Caussin was one of Dudzik's favorite targets in 2009 as a pass-catcher, while Newman's specialty was as a blocking tight end.
Barlow, who has yet to make his first career catch after seeing time last season mostly on special teams, hopes he can fill both voids.
"I hope I just add versatility," said the redshirt sophomore from Sherando High School. "Hopefully I can block a defensive end, then dip and go catch a pass."
"We think Brian's going to have a great career here. We really think he has the opportunity to be the best tight end we've ever had at JMU," said coach Mickey Matthews, repeating a statement he made at JMU's media day earlier this month.
But when told of Matthews' comment, Barlow downplayed the expectations of both his coach and his quarterback.
"(Offensive line coach Chris) Malone said that potential means you're nothing yet. And that's a great thing that Coach Matthews said," Barlow said. "I would love to be just half the man that Mike and Charlie were. I've got to keep working on it. Maybe I'll be there someday."
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